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Supangat v. Holder

United States Court of Appeals, Eighth Circuit

November 7, 2013

Eric SUPANGAT, Petitioner
v.
Eric H. HOLDER, Jr., Attorney General of the United States, Respondent.

Submitted: Sept. 25, 2013.

Page 793

[Copyrighted Material Omitted]

Page 794

Theodore N. Cox, New York, NY, for Petitioner.

Linda Y. Cheng, Karen Yolanda Drummond, Richard M. Evans, Melissa Katherine Lott, U.S. Department of Justice, Washington, DC, for Respondent.

Before RILEY, Chief Judge, BRIGHT and BYE, Circuit Judges.

PER CURIAM.

Eric Supangat petitions for review of the decision of the Board of Immigration Appeals (BIA) denying his claims for asylum, withholding of removal, and relief under the Convention Against Torture (CAT). We deny the petition.

I. Background

Supangat, a citizen of Indonesia, entered the United States on October 29, 2000, at the age of 23 on an F-1 student visa to attend Pacific Rim Language Institute in California. He stopped attending the institution as of December 31, 2000, thereby failing to maintain or comply with the conditions of his nonimmigrant status, and making himself subject to removability under 8 U.S.C. § 1227(a)(1)(C)(i). On February 10, 2003, Supangat applied for asylum, withholding of removal, and protection under the CAT on the grounds that he had suffered past persecution in Indonesia because of his Chinese ethnicity and Christian religion and he feared such persecution upon his return. After immigration officials instituted removal proceedings, Supangat conceded removability and reasserted his claims for asylum, withholding of removal, and protection under the CAT.

During a merits hearing before an immigration judge (IJ), Supangat testified that he converted to Christianity around age 11 or 12. He remembered his religion causing problems for him and his family beginning around the time that he was 13 years old. Supangat recalled that individuals, whom he identified as being Muslim, would demand money from him, steal his book bag, call him names, and harass him on his way to and from church and his Christian schools. He claimed that in 1994, three Muslim men kidnapped him from a mall and drove him by taxi to a cemetery where they threatened him, put a knife to the back of his neck, took everything on him except his pants, and left him to walk barefoot. Supangat asserted that after he opened a business with a friend in 1999, Muslims intimidated him and demanded money. He further alleged that his family members were also subject to attacks and harassment, including incidents that occurred after he came to the United States in 2000. Supangat testified that he did not report any of the incidents to the police in Indonesia because he believed that they were also Muslim and that they would not care.

After the hearing, the IJ concluded that Supangat's asylum application was untimely because he had filed it more than one year after his arrival to the United States. See 8 U.S.C. § 1158(a)(2)(B). The IJ further concluded that Supangat failed to establish that he was eligible for withholding of removal and protection under the CAT. The IJ denied Supangat's petition and ordered his removal to Indonesia.

Supangat appealed the IJ's decision to the BIA. The BIA dismissed Supangat's appeal, and incorporated the IJ's reasons in its decision. In reaching its decision, ...


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